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Unusual gaiwan (?) with lots of chinese calligraphy

by Helen

I've searched several websites and cannot find anything with similar decoration. Any advise or suggestions as to what it might be and what the text is would be most welcome.


Comments for Unusual gaiwan (?) with lots of chinese calligraphy

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Jul 31, 2013
Poetry Gaiwan
by: Helen (Cardiff, UK)

Thank you Laurie for your comment and the link to the Museum of Tea Ware showing a tea bowl photograph. That was very interesting.I will try to look up your reference to Empty vessels Replenished Minds, National Palace Museum, Taipei, nos. 130, 177. pp 153.

Best regards

Jul 30, 2013
Poetry Gaiwan
by: Laurie

It appears to be a later rendition of the famous "poetry" tea bowls (but not qaiwan) created for the Qianlong emperor hence the Qianlong mark. The most famous examples are those for san qing tea decorated with a poem by the Qianlong emperor about his appreciation for this tea. Gaiwan renditions were quite popular in the 19th to early 20th century. One late 19th century copy in the Palace Museum is decorated with a Tang dynasty poem (see Empty vessels Replenished Minds, National Palace Museum, Taipei, nos. 130, 177. pp 153). There is also a related example early 19th century example in the Hong Kong Museum of Art:

Jun 26, 2013
unusual gaiwan update
by: Helen

Hi Sébastien,

Thank you for your comment.I asked a Chinese relative in his 60's who can read Chinese but he could not read it because the characters were of an old text.It belonged to a friend who's father obtained it from an antique shop in the UK in the late 80's. It has since been sold by Bonhams at auction. When they examined it they believed it to be 1920's and the mark apocryphal. Thanks for your interest.

Best regards,

Helen (Wales, UK)

Jun 25, 2013
Question about this beautiful
by: Sébastien, Paris

Dear Helen,

How did you find this beautiful gaiwan? I'm not specialized in this kind of antiques, but I would be very interested in knowing if you purchased it in China, in an antique shop and if you got some more details about it since you have purchased it...

Best regards from Paris,


May 08, 2011
by: Helen

Hi Peter
Very interesting. I too thought the shape was unusual as I have not seen similar on the internet. My next quest will be to find out what the text means ( is there anybody out there who can enlighten me?).Thank you for taking a look.
I would like to say that your website is excellent, very informative.I am certainly learning alot as I go along.

Thanks again

May 07, 2011
by: peter

Hi Helen,
Although the great wall would not impossible, I would rather think this is the wall of some city or other fortified place.

The mark is a Qianlong reign mark, but from some private kiln. It could be apocryphal.
The pictures show two different blue tones, but from the painting I would think it likely that it is from a period between the second quarter of the 19th century to possibly early 20th. But, I am not quite sure of its age, so this is just a guess.
This bowl has a rather unusual shape with three levels of slighthly concave rings forming the sides, containing the Ruyi decoration at the top and the writing in the lower two. Quite unusual.

If you have an opportunity to ask a Chinese person, let him/her try to read the Chinese content. If it is a traditional story, then they mostly will easily recognize it, and the interior decoration is likely related.

May 07, 2011
more photos
by: Helen

Hi Peter

Links to more photos. Are the pictures on the bowls the Great Wall of China and is the text poetry? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

May 04, 2011
by: Helen

Hi Peter

Thank you for taking an interest.I will try to get better photographs uploaded in the next day or so. Unfortunately I don't have much control on my compact camera, but I will try to get closer pictures.


May 03, 2011
by: peter

Pictures are much too small to see any details. Could you post larger, high resolution pictures to Photobucket or Flickr and post the link here?

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